GRU prepares graduate student run 'open access' journal
By Sean Gruber
Georgia Regents University’s College of Education is preparing to publish a new open-access online journal geared toward graduate students, offering GRU’s younger researchers the opportunity not only to get their work seen on a national level, but also help them prepare for the competitive academic world.
The journal, titled Transforming Education, examines current trends in both primary and secondary education, with a focus on “promoting positive and progressive growth” in the education world. Article topics range from school counseling to student demographics. The journal accepted six articles for review when their Oct. 1 deadline closed. It will be released in December, and will accept submissions from graduate students across the nation.
Graduate students both submit articles and make up the review board for selecting articles for a faculty-based editorial board to approve, a rarity in university world. While there are other journals that publish research by graduate students, very few have editors or a review board staffed by them.
The journal’s “open access” approach is also unique. Interested parties may read the journal online for free. Many peer-reviewed journals take the opposite approach, charging subscription fees for viewing and disseminating their articles.
Journal coordinator, Dr. Andrew Kemp, said the journal was an “excellent introduction” to the world of peer review journals for graduate students taking the first steps into publishing their research.
“The idea came to me around six or seven years ago to have an outlet for graduate students seeking to publish … and after consolidation here, I thought it would be the perfect time to launch it,” Kemp said. “It helps them develop a critical reading eye, which helps no matter what field they end up going into as far as career goes. It also helps the students learn how to write for different audiences than what they’re used to … they learn to restructure their work for the academic journal world.”
It’s an experience that many of the students involved in the upcoming journal are very happy to have. Quentin Hunter, one of the journal’s graduate student editors, said working for the publication has helped him better understand both the peer review and journal publishing process.
“It’s an exciting start. I think that open journals like this are going to be the future,” Hunter said. “I’m learning by taking part in the process, which is something I’ve never encountered before. It definitely appeals to me.”
Hunter said he hoped the journal would continue to grow over the next few years.
“I’d like to see it become used in classrooms nationwide,” Hunter said. “I think it’s important to have a journal like this so people freely access information from a journal that’s professional and stamped by a university.”
While Kemp also has ambitions for expanding the journal, he remains focused on using it to give much needed experience to graduate students.
“The intention is to give more opportunities for students looking to look more professional in the academic field,” Kemp said. “I want for them to get out into that public sphere.”